Furniture Hollywood-Style

I make a study of the furniture in the homes portrayed in movies -- especially during Oscar season. The Academy Awards ceremony is coming up March 4. It's fascinating to think about how set designers use the tools of their trade to say so much about a character, a place, a period in time -- just through the choices made in furnishing the homes seen on the screen.Compare the modest home of the down-on-their-luck Hardings in "I, Tonya" for which Margot Robbie and Allison Janney have been nominated for best actress and supporting actress respectively--with the home of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman, best actor nominee) in the "Darkest Hour" (best picture nominee). Compare the well-appointed Georgetown home of Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep, best actress nominee) in "The Post" (best picture nominee) with the self-proclaimed wrong side of the tracks home of "Lady Bird," (best picture nominee; Saoirse Ronan, best actress nominee) and the nearby upscale home she pretends is her residence.Today, great style and beautiful living spaces are not just the domain of the affluent. Do you have a favorite Hollywood movie home? Diane Keaton’s beach house in "As Good as it Gets" and the wonderful house in the Steve [...]

2018-01-31T15:41:01+00:00 February 1st, 2018|

It’s Hygge Time

The Danish have a word for the feeling you get when you are cozy. The word is hygge (pronounced HOOG-gah). And because the 2017 World Happiness Report gives Denmark one of the highest happiness scores, I wanted to learn more. I checked out a blog about design and hygge, which features photos that depict being cozy. Nearly every photo features furniture or beds. Isn’t that the truth? We are most cozy on a sofa, an upholstered chair or loveseat, or a bed. Three cheers for the foam that cushions our homes and brings so much comfort. With the holidays upon us, take time to nestle in, sit down, lie down and feel cozy. Whether it’s adding a throw blanket to your sofa or textured pillows to your bed, think about adding cozy elements to every room in your house. But hygge is also a state of mind. Taking the time to really listen to a friend or family member, for instance. Stealing a quiet moment with a cup of hot chocolate or pulling on some warm and fuzzy socks. Dimming the lights to create a hygge atmosphere is also good. So, for the holiday season, I urge you to find [...]

2017-12-11T12:30:11+00:00 December 12th, 2017|

Next Trend: Furniture on Wedding Registries

The couple on the wedding cake needs to sit down on something comfortable! September and October are now tied for the most popular month for getting married, according to a 2016 poll by The Knot. Pinterest’s 2017 wedding report finds that autumn weddings are up nearly 300 percent. I was just perusing the wedding registry of the daughter of my maid of honor (that makes me feel so old!). Rebecca is getting married in December—a rebel—and I was intrigued to see how the items on wedding registries have changed. Brides and grooms today are more practical. Many have already set up households together so they simply don’t need as much of the setting-up-your-first-home stuff. I noticed there were registry items that were less “things” and more experiences, such as dinners, massages, tickets. Love that, too. Another trend I’d like to see is the addition of furniture and home accessories on wedding registries, especially with the options afforded by a gift registry site such as Blueprint and others like it, which enable multiple contributions to one gift. These gifts are each identified as a “group gift” opportunity with a special banner. How thoughtful. Furniture becomes your home—and you can take [...]

2017-09-27T07:05:42+00:00 September 27th, 2017|

Lazy Mom’s Day

The term “lazy mom” sounds like an oxymoron to me. Is there such a thing? And why is the first Friday of September Lazy Mom’s Day? I wonder who designated the date for this particular day since it is often the first week of school and one of the busiest times in many moms’ lives. That said, when we think of being lazy, most people think of napping, being a couch potato for the day, putting their feet up and leaning back in a recliner. We may lie in the sun on a chaise lounge or curl up on a cozy chair reading a book—you get the idea. Notice the common denominator? Our laziest, most comfortable moments take place on beds and upholstered furniture that are cushioned and cozy. Most often that cushioning is made with flexible polyurethane foam cushioning, ideally CertiPUR-US® certified foam—which I think is pretty cool. Laziness also often has a negative connotation. It seems rude to call Mom lazy. This quote from the New York Times was included in an article about the power of downtime in Scientific American magazine: “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable [...]

2017-08-31T12:10:16+00:00 August 31st, 2017|

What is Certified Foam?

Before the establishment of the CertiPUR-US® foam certification program, consumers looking for the comfort of knowing what’s inside the foam in their mattress and upholstered furniture--or rather, what isn’t--had no compass to guide them in the shopping process. CertiPUR-US has demystified a critical aspect of shopping for mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows and upholstered furniture, which typically contain conventional or viscoelastic (memory) flexible polyurethane foam for cushioning. CertiPUR-US-certified foams meet standards for content, emissions and durability, and are analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories. The CertiPUR-US foam certification program, administered by a nonprofit organization, was established in 2008 to combat substandard foams imported from other countries. In some cases, these substandard foams contained substances that had been banned in the U.S. or were listed by chemical watch groups as potentially being harmful. A group of foam manufacturers, in conjunction with environmentalists, academics, industry and consumer groups, and chemists developed a testing, analysis, and certification program specifically for these uses of flexible polyurethane foam. Now considered the industry’s most rigorous certification program for foam used in bedding and upholstered furniture, certified foams are: Made without ozone depleters Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants Made without mercury, lead, and other [...]

2017-08-16T08:48:05+00:00 August 16th, 2017|

Furniture Industry Champions Child Safety

It’s called furniture tip-over, and one child dies every two weeks when a television, appliance or piece of furniture falls on them, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Please share this infographic —these are horrifying but important-to-know statistics. Most of the deaths involve children between the ages of 1 and 5. Three-quarters of the time, it’s a TV or piece of furniture that falls on them; a quarter of the time it’s a dresser or table. These accidents happen most often in the bedroom. Anchoring furniture, TVs and appliances is a critical way to protect your child or children who visit your home. Three cheers to the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) for bringing public attention to this danger. AHFA supports the CPSC’s “Anchor It” campaign, and works to promote compliance with ASTM F2057-14, a voluntary furniture stability standard for freestanding clothing storage units, such as drawer chests, door chests and dressers, that are more than 30 inches high. Here’s a typical scenario: A child sees something on top of a bedroom dresser that they want. Maybe it’s a stuffed animal that’s out of reach, or Mom’s necklaces on a jewelry tree, or a photo of [...]

2017-07-26T14:49:01+00:00 July 26th, 2017|